Car coffee makers provide a convenient solution for brewing a fresh cup of coffee on the go without the need to make a detour to a coffee shop. These portable devices are plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter, providing the necessary electricity to brew coffee (only one cup at a time) in just a few minutes.
Two types of car coffee makers are available – 12V models designed for cars and 24V models for trucks. Additionally, car coffee makers are distinct from portable coffee machines, which require separate hot or boiled to brew water and lack an electrical outlet.
In this article, I’ll explore the best car coffee makers on the market, compare their features and functionality, and help you choose the right one for your needs. By understanding the features and benefits of car coffee makers, you’ll be better equipped to select the best model for your lifestyle and budget.
Car coffee maker vs individual coffee makers
When considering a coffee maker for use on the go, it’s essential to understand the difference between car coffee makers and individual coffee makers.
Car coffee makers are designed specifically to be plugged into a car’s cigarette lighter socket, providing the necessary electricity to brew a fresh cup of coffee while on the road. In contrast, individual coffee makers are compact machines and small enough to be portable but not intended for car use.
Individual coffee makers may include a thermal cup, making them easy to attach to a car’s cup holder and enjoy on the go, but they require a separate power source, such as a wall outlet or battery pack. Car coffee makers, on the other hand, are specifically designed for use in a car and are the ideal solution for those who need a quick caffeine fix on the road.
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Car coffee makers: Prices and models
Given that there are many manufacturers and models, the prices of car coffee machines can vary significantly. To assist in navigating this landscape, we have compiled a comprehensive list of all the best 12v coffee machines currently available on the internet market.
In my opinion, the following two options represent the best value for money and are my top picks:
Truck coffee maker
As mentioned earlier, the truck coffee maker functions like a car coffee maker, with the only difference being the type of connector used: car coffee makers are designed for a 12-volt socket, while truck coffee makers require a 24-volt plug.
Some manufacturers offer the same model with both connection options, allowing customers to choose based on their needs. If you’re interested in purchasing a 24v coffee maker online, here are some of the best options available:
It’s worth noting that while truck coffee makers are the most commonly used version of this device, they’re also frequently used in vans, motorhomes and boats. In general, they can be used anywhere with a 24-volt socket.
Coffee makers for motorhomes and campervans
An electric coffee machine may be the most convenient option for those seeking a coffee maker suitable for their motorhome. These coffee makers are compatible with the motorhome’s cigarette lighter socket, similar to the car coffee machine.
To choose the right coffee maker, it is essential to determine the type of socket present in the motorhome, either 12v or 24v, and then select the corresponding model from the options discussed earlier.
➡️ Check out my in-depth article for more detailed information on selecting a coffee machine that meets your motorhome needs.
How does a car coffee maker work? Explanatory video
Many first-time users of car coffee makers wonder how they work, how long it takes to make coffee, and what their capacity is.
Fortunately, these questions can be answered easily by watching the video below. It explains the working mechanism of car coffee makers and provides all the information needed to use them effectively.
The best car coffee maker
Below, I have listed the top 12-volt coffee machines available in the market, in my opinion. If you are searching for a coffee maker for your car or looking for a perfect gift, then you should start by considering these top three options:
Top 1. Handpresso Auto coffee maker
The Handpresso Auto coffee maker is the industry standard for car coffee machines. It was the first brand to focus exclusively on car coffee machines, and it shows in its product quality.
Handpresso is a leader among its competitors in several areas, including offering various versions of the coffee machine (Mini, Hybrid, or standard, with some models not having a cigarette lighter adapter) and a pack with a briefcase for easy transportation of the Handpresso and all its accessories and single-dose coffee pods.
With 16 bars of pressure and a practical temperature gauge, the Handpresso Auto coffee maker can extract a perfect espresso in under two minutes.
Top 2. Lavazza EspressGo
Lavazza has also entered the market for car travel coffee machines with its Lavazza EspressGo, joining other established brands like Handpresso Auto.
This machine shares many qualities with the Handpresso Auto, such as its 12-volt power, half-litre capacity, temperature gauge, and similar dimensions and materials. The difference is that the Lavazza EspressGo uses Lavazza A Modo Mio capsules, whereas the Handpresso Auto works with generic ESE single-dose pods.
Top 3. Outin Nano Portable Electric Espresso
The Upgraded Portable Espresso Machine is a highly efficient and portable mini espresso machine. It features an upgraded battery that can brew one more cup than similar products and heats the water quickly.
It has a double 2-in-1 feature that works with ground coffee and coffee capsules and supports hot and cold water brews. It is compact, portable, and waterproof, with a leak-proof and heat-insulation design.
Plus, it is compatible with 12V/24V car charging, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and coffee addicts on the go.